Colts: 3 potential cap casualties Indy should target this offseason

Thomas Carannante
Raiders HC Jon Gruden and QB Derek Carr (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Raiders HC Jon Gruden and QB Derek Carr (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
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Preston Smith #91 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Preston Smith #91 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

2. Preston Smith

Perhaps the Packers act in haste, cut Smith, and give the Colts an opportunity.

Indy also faces problems among their front seven, don’t forget it! Justin Houston and Denico Autry will be free agents. Losing Houston’s production would be devastating, but it’s a real possibility. Maybe the Colts figure out something with him and then add someone else? Packers linebacker Preston Smith could be a worthwhile addition if he becomes available.

Green Bay can save $8 million by cutting the 28-year-old (as opposing to paying $16 million), and they may be inclined to do so after a four-sack, 11 QB-hit 2020 season, which was a disappointment compared to his sterling 2019. They have a cheaper option in Rashan Gary, anyway. They can afford to part with Smith because they have a good pass rush and will instead need to address their secondary.

As for Indy, Smith and Houston on the outside would be even better now that the interior is settled with DeForest Bucker and Grover Stewart. Across 96 career games since 2015 — he was drafted in the same class and to the same team as Crowder! — Smith has 266 tackles (47 for a loss), 40.5 sacks and 93 QB hits.

Though 2020 was not a good campaign for him, the Colts have to know that adding a 6-foot-5, 265-pound body to their pass rushing department is a huge win if it comes at the right price. They obviously can’t bank on this happening, but Smith would be helpful as a Houston replacement OR a supplement on the other side of the former All-Pro.

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